FRENCH ENTREE: Vanity Fair France joined forces with Chanel to host a dinner in Cannes on Sunday night ahead of the launch of its inaugural issue on June 26. Celebrities including Jessica Chastain, Adrien Brody and Milla Jovovich gathered at the beachfront restaurant Tetou in Golfe-Juan east of Cannes. They were joined by Karl Lagerfeld, Condé Nast International chairman and chief executive Jonathan Newhouse, Condé Nast France president Xavier Romatet and the Vanity Fair France editorial team. “The U.S. edition of Vanity Fair is very present in Hollywood. Vanity Fair France must be present in Cannes,” Romatet told WWD. He noted that Graydon Carter, editor in chief of the U.S. edition of Vanity Fair, had agreed to forgo its annual party in Cannes, which this year would have marked a centenary celebration for the magazine.

“Vanity Fair is a very difficult concept,” Romatet said, noting that a study conducted among potential readers in France several months ago revealed a brand awareness of 33 percent, but little understanding of the magazine’s remit. “It’s a magazine that seeks to influence, but not a consumer publication. There will be few products featured. It’s a magazine that talks about people, but it’s not a celebrity publication. This magazine tells stories which we hope are extraordinary.”

This story first appeared in the May 21, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Four trial issues have been produced so far. Unlike the weekly Vanity Fair Italy and the now-defunct German edition, the French version is to be a monthly closely modeled on the U.S. original, with a mix of investigative journalism and entertainment features.

Michel Denisot has been appointed editorial director. Denisot has presented the weeknight program “Le Grand Journal” on pay-television channel Canal Plus for close to a decade and has strong connections to sports, politics and entertainment. Anne Boulay, formerly editor in chief of the French edition of GQ, is editor in chief, while Virginie Mouzat came on board from Le Figaro to oversee fashion, lifestyle and feature stories.

Condé Nast plans to print 400,000 copies of the inaugural issue, which will be launched at the same time as a Web site. Priced at 3.95 euros, or $5.07 at current exchange, the first issue will run to around 270 pages, Romatet said, declining to specify what proportion would be advertising. Aimed primarily at women aged 35 to 50, it aims to sell 600 ad pages a year and achieve an initial circulation of 85,000, rising to 100,000 within three years, he said.

Romatet declined to reveal further details about the debut issue, except to say it would feature exclusive coverage of the Cannes party with photographs by Ellen von Unwerth.